Blog

A desire for a more "modern" look that nevertheless incorporated "traditional" motifs was a hallmark of the Arts and Crafts movement in Scotland. Suddenly, the Thistle in the machine age could be a modern symbol of a modern Scotland. Not merely a symbol of a Scotland that had become an aging Queen's escape.
HIGHLAND FLING! Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017 Weekend #1 August 19th – 20th 2017 Love Scotland? Love Scottish Athletics? Dancing? Kilts? The skirl of the Pipes? The Renaissance? Once again the Scottish Games will be retuning to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. On Sat. August 19th the 11th Annual World Amateur Highland Heavy Games Championships will be heldRead More
August 16th –Lady Nairne’s Birthday Born in 1776, a contemporary of both Robbie Burns and Sir Walter Scott –Burns was 7 years older, Scott 5 years younger– Carolina Nairne was one of the great Scottish literary lights of the post Jacobite era. Following the tradition of the 18th & 19th centuries –a tradition which dictatedRead More
Nagle Forge & Foundry Fine Jewelers At The Renaissance Festival Quality American Made pewter, Bronze, Sterling Silver & Gold Booth #418 2017 Minnesota Renaissance Festival Calendar A Fairgoer’s Guide to the 2017 Minnesota Renaissance Festival Tradition, Fun, Fantasy & More…. August is special for so many reasons… The last warm days of Summer, the firstRead More
Viking Ship Seal Ring
Traders, Fisherman, Farmers, Artists, Carpenters, Builders, Predators… The Vikings, when they swept out of their Northern homelands in the 8th century A.D. were all that and more. Viking warriors guarded the Emperors of Byzantium, dragged –literally– the King of the Franks from his throne & raided the monasteries of Western Europe.   But it wasRead More
A quality tartan of course can never be accused of being "tourist tat" --but with so much color it is blindly obvious that accessories must also incorporate a world of color. And, historically, they did.
July 1st –The Anniversary of the Repeal of Proscription In 1747, in the harsh aftermath of the Battle of Culloden, British authorities banned the wearing of the tartan –and imposed other penalties on acts which, in the aftermath of Culloden hinted of Scottish nationalism. Over thirty years later, on July 1st, 1782, the Proscription ActRead More
A World of Color: Gems, Jewels, Treasure & a Great Big Plaid Brooch Embracing Color in Scotland’s Era of Empire Color has always played a tremendous role in traditional Celtic dress and has continued to play a tremendous role in traditional Scottish dress to this day. Tartan, after all, is practically synonymous with Scotland. (SoRead More
Today the Scotland that is cemented in our collective imagination as the “traditional” Scotland is very much a creation of the 19th century… a hazy combination of Victorian Romanticism and historical novels that seem to have sprung full formed from some rocky loch side castle in 1855. The romantic in all of us prefers toRead More
“Romantic Scotland” is, today, an almost inescapable term. Scotland’s scenery, history, plaintive ballads and colorful traditions all seem like the definition of romance… Three hundred years ago few outsiders would have called Scotland “romantic” –& the modern notion of Scotland as a peculiarly “romantic” country is very much a product of the Georgian & VictorianRead More
By Sarah This article was originally published in the Nagle Forge & Foundry newsletter between 2002 & 2003. Due to space constraints (& printing costs) the original article had to be heavily edited. As many people commented at the time that they found this article useful we have decided to revise and expand it priorRead More

Birth Stones

Historical Birthstones, Modern Birthstones: Your Birth Stone Over the years we have been asked –by, it sometimes seems, everyone– to show examples of the January birthstone, the April birthstone, Mom’s birthstone, Dad’s birthstone, my birthstone: We always answer people the same way, “Pick a stone, any stone. It has probably been (or will be) theRead More